2014 Women’s Leadership Forum


August 6th, 2014


On Tuesday, July 29, more than 200 women gathered at the Time Warner Center in New York City for The Executive Leadership Foundation’s 2014 Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF). Executives and their junior to mid-level manager protégés spent the majority of the day actively listening and partaking in candid panel discussions featuring corporate executives and thought leaders about personal and professional topics that affect the lives of black women professionals at various points across their career lifelines. This year’s theme, “Success Enhanced: Chapter by Chapter,” explored three key phases in the life of a black woman professional: attaining skills and education, building one’s career and realizing success/influencing future generations.

Attendees were treated to testimonials and personal insights from some of the most influential and powerful black women in corporate America, who were not at all hesitant about sharing their real-life experiences, both rewarding and challenging, as a means of imparting useful knowledge and lessons learned to their fellow attendees. Leaders such as Jamy Hall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Component Sales, LLC; Brenda Lauderback, Board Member of Denny’s Corporation, Sleep Number Corporation, Wolverine World Wide and Big Lots Corporation; and Esther Silver-Parker, former Senior Vice President of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and President and Chief Executive Officer of The SilverParker Group spoke on subject areas relevant to their current professional journeys, including Power & Influence, Black Women on Boards and Passion and Purpose, respectively.

The closing session of this year’s event yielded a real treat (literally and figuratively) for the 2014 attendees. “Black Women On…” gave us a look behind the curtain into the lives of three generations of successful black women artists from the renowned Ayers-Allen family: Pulitzer Prize Nominated Poet Dr. Vivian Ayers-Allen, three-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award Winning Actress, Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dance Academy Founder Debbie Allen and Tony Award Nominated Singer/Songwriter Condola Rashad. Their stories around challenge, success and artistry were inspiring, while many of their experiences were quite relevant to most in the room. The evening ended with a brilliant combination of networking and chocolate tasting, courtesy of our member-affiliated company, Godiva.

Special thanks to Patricia Miller Zollar, Managing Director, Neuberger Berman LLC and Phyllis Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer, Express Scripts for their creative and tireless leadership as Co-chairs of the 2014 WLF. They certainly raised the bar for success, and we are already looking forward to the 2015 WLF on July 21, 2015 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, CA. With this year’s event as a key indicator of what’s in store, we highly recommend marking your calendars now!

The ELF would like to thank its sponsors for their generous contributions in support of the 2014 Women’s Leadership Forum.

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